Prince George's CountyWilliam J. Ford

Sweat Partners with Church to Distribute Food, Offer Counseling

Although the Maryland Democratic primary doesn’t take place for another 10 months, Prince George’s County Executive candidate Tonya Sweat helped distribute food Tuesday for 1,000 people at St. Stephen Baptist Church in Temple Hills.

In addition to partnering with the church’s weekly grocery giveaway, Sweat’s campaign offered residents information on counseling services and free backpacks and school supplies for students.

Targeting the immigrant community, a Sweat Spanish interpreter was available. A representative from Law Group International of Alexandria, Va., was on hand to offer legal services.

“When I saw the long line of cars around St. Stephen’s Baptist Church, this shows the need in the community is great,” said Sweat, a managing partner of Sweatism Consulting who resides in Accokeek. “I’m out here on my feet beating the streets. Fist-bumping people. Listening to their needs and concerns. Seeing all these people here shows the food distribution and other services are necessary.”

Sweat admits her one challenge centers around how to take on current County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, who plans to seek reelection for a second, four-year term.

According to a campaign finance report filed in January and amended June 18, the Alsobrooks campaign has slightly more than $1 million cash on hand.

A third county executive candidate, Sherman Hardy, an Air Force veteran from Clinton, filed documents for his candidacy on Aug. 3. He plans to host a kickoff and fundraiser cookout Saturday, Aug. 21, but attendees must register at www.Hardy4PG.com.

According to Hardy’s website, he supports investments in minority-owned businesses, a full-service veteran’s hospital in the county and a fully elected school board.

The Democrat chosen in the June 28 primary would be the presumptive winner with Democrats in Prince George’s outnumbering Republicans by a 10-to-1 ratio. The majority Black jurisdiction with a population of 967,200 has the highest number of registered Democrats in Maryland.

Education remains one of the biggest topics in the county. with public disputes between elected and appointed board members centering around ethics allegations. Alsobrooks called for the state board of education to review a local ethics panel report before the school year begins Sept. 8.

As for Sweat, a practicing attorney, education remains one of her top priorities. She is a former PTA president at Oxon Hill High School and vice president for advocacy on the Maryland PTA.

She plans to host a youth summit on Sept. 18 at National Bible College and Seminary in Fort Washington. Two of the event’s goals: assists high school students preparing for college by offering to waive fees to pay for the SAT and Act tests; and for those who may not attend college to learn about a trade from a representative from the Maryland Youth Apprenticeship Advisory Council.

After chatting with Sweat outside St. Stephen Baptist Church, Joyce Treece of Capitol Heights said, “I would vote for her.

“I take sincerity from her,” Treece said about Sweat. “There comes a time where there has to be a changing of the guard.”

William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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